linguine and clam sauce February 15th, 2011

This one came from my dad.  He used to make it at the fire station when he worked as a paramedic and perfected it over quite a few years.  I’ve adapted it for those of us that need more explicit directions.


  • 1 lb Linguine
  • 3 cans of minced clams
  • 1 head of fresh parsley
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (fresh grated is best, powdered is ok)


Cut the parsley from the heads and finely chop it (a food processor will tend to chop it too much).  Peel 8-10 cloves of garlic and finely chop them.  Coat the bottom of a large skillet with an extra coat of olive oil (enough so that there is some standing oil).  Drain the juice from each of the cans of clams into the pan.  Add the chopped parsley and garlic.  Add several shakes of italian seasoning and a couple of good turns of the black pepper grinder.  Set the pan on a large burner at approximately 20-25% power and let it heat up and simmer while starting the pasta water boiling (if using a gas stove, decrease the intensity of the heat by stacking a burner on top of another – the clams and garlic can burn easily so stir often).  Add a few shakes of olive oil and italian seasoning to the pasta water.  It has heated enough when the sauce starts to change to a light milky color and bubbles slightly.  If you started the pasta water at about the same time, this will be about the time the water starts boil.  At this point, add all of the cans of clams to the sauce and put the linguine into the pot of water.  Boil the pasta for about 8 minutes, stirring the clam sauce frequently.  When the pasta is tender, everything is done cooking.

Scoop the pasta out into a strainer and then pour the remaining stock slowly over the pasta, allowing the oil and seasoning to stick to the pasta.  Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.  Add a generous amount of parmesan cheese (this will help thicken the sauce).  Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss it thoroughly.  Add some parmesan cheese and toss some more.  Serve on plates.  Use a spoon to scoop some of the good parts of the sauce from the bottom onto each serving.


  • I’ve made this with pre-chopped garlic and parsley and its just not the same.  I always chop my own parsley and garlic now for this recipe.
  • Goes well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
  • 1 lb of linguine will feed 3-5 people
  • It took a while to get the timing right.  Time it all around the pasta.  Turn the heat on to the sauce and the pasta water at the same time.  The sauce simmers (prior to adding the clams) for about the amount of time it takes to get the water boiling.  Once the water is boiling add the pasta to the pot and the clams to the sauce.  Both will be done after about 8 minutes.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 12:27 am and is filed under food, main dishes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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